Pork Spare Ribs

ribs1.jpg There is an updated and improved version of this recipe at Pork Spare Ribs #2.

This is, by far, the best recipe for ribs I've made so far. I've tried many variations for ribs, including plain oven cooked, braised, and sous vide. This recipe is excellent but, unfortunately, requires a great deal of time and equipment. I think it's worth it, however!

Coat the ribs in dry rub, vacuum seal, and refrigerate overnight, or for a few days.

ribs2.jpgHeat the sous vide machine to 157°F and cook the ribs for 12 hours. Let rest for at least an hour after removing from the sous vide so the meat can reabsorb some of the lost juices.

ribs3.jpgSome of the best barbecue recipes use low heat and smoke for a very long period of time. This is hard to control, however, and can lead to dry meat if you're not careful. The sous vide takes care of this very well. Not to mention running the Bradley Smoker for 12 hours would  use $ 18 in pucks!

Coat in barbecue sauce and put in the smoker for 1 hour at 180°F to 220°F. I used hickory. The smoker definitely adds a dimension missing when finishing off the ribs in the oven. It dries out the barbecue sauce perfectly and the ribs smell like they've been smoked the whole time!

The ribs are very tender, pretty moist, and met my new metric for well-textured ribs: I did not need to floss my teeth after eating them!

Update: These ribs also freeze well. I vacuum sealed a package of ribs and froze them. When I wanted a meal of ribs I took the frozen vacuum package and placed it directly into the 149°F sous vide machine for 2 hours. I removed them from the vacuum bag, plated them, and put them in a 350°F oven for a couple minutes to evaporate some of the moisture on the surface, warm the plate, and warm the jalapeño corn bread but that's not really necessary.

ribs4.jpg Update: I've started cooking the ribs at 155°F for 18 hours in the sous vide. It might not be necessary, but it works very well, and, from a practical standpoint it works better because I put the ribs in the morning, and then take them out the next day in the afternoon, which is generally more convenient.

Also good with French fries or tater tots!